Mud Pie and The History of Piggy Banks

No one invented the piggy bank; in fact the original piggy bank had absolutely nothing to do with a pig! In the Middle Ages, when metal was expensive, an inexpensive, orange colored clay, called pygg, was the common media for making pots and jars, and was referred to as a pygg jar. One of these jars was often used to hold coins. People made all kinds of useful objects out of clay, including dishes and jars to hold spare change. Around the 18th century, the word "pygg" now sounded the same as the word for the animal "pig" and eventually became known as a pig bank or piggy bank. The general thought was this evolution transpired a few hundred years ago in England when crafters were hired to make pygg banks and not being familiar with pygg they made pig shaped banks.

Over the next two hundred to three hundred years, people forgot that "pygg" referred to the earthenware material. In the nineteenth century when English potters received requests for piggy banks, they produced banks shaped like a pig. Of course, the pigs appealed to the customers and delighted the children.

One theory to the piggy bank is how common it was to purchase a piglet and feed it with scraps until it was finally ready for slaughter. We feed our piggy banks with small change ("scraps") until it is full and then we break it to reap our rewards of our investment.

The oldest recorded piggy bank in the shape of a pig is claimed to be 1500 years old from Indonesia. If this is so, it precedes the pygg theory by around 1000 years! Perhaps there was some connection between the pig and saving money in that culture but it seems to have not influenced Western culture, where the modern piggy bank only evolved from pygg clay just a few hundred years ago.

Mud Pie Piggy Banks

Mud Pie is an Atlanta, Georgia based company that makes a wide range of keepsake gifts. Created in 1988, Mud Pie is a family owned company with a dedication to quality and creativity. Their designs are very fun and make great gifts for young boys and girls.

Creative, adorable, fun, and innovative are words that describe Mud Pie product. The company began 25 years ago with 10 items and has grown into a leading gift company that supply to retailers across the country.

Mud Pie piggy banks are offered in either ceramic or pewter color and come in a variety of exciting themes that are packed in hat boxes that match the theme of the bank (except the giant piggy banks, which come in a secure gift box). The hat boxes are very unique and come well padded to protect the bank. They are lined with satin and come with ribbon ties. Many of these mud pie piggy banks play music when you insert a coin and all have rubber stoppers for removing the coins.

More Mud Pie

Besides the Mud Pie Piggy Banks, they also carry a number of tea sets that like the piggy banks come packed in a decorative hat box and include everything for a great "tea time" with the girls.

The modern piggy bank, whether made from ceramics, plastic, beads or metal, has been a very popular collector's item and gift for children and adults due to its appealing and humorous appearance. In addition to the smile or chuckle we experience each time we drop some change into our piggy bank let us be reminded by the lesson it teaches us!

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Article Written - January 19, 2009.